Marjorie Taylor Greene falsely calls church shooter “a trans from El Salvador”

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene Photo: Shutterstock

After a shooter opened fire with an AR-15 in a Texas megachurch on Sunday, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) took to social media to make the story entirely about the shooter’s identity.

She got that identity wrong.

“Not only was the shooter a trans from El Salvador,” Greene posted on X, “she also had a gun engraved with ‘Free Palestine’ but investigators can’t say if she was politically motivated or not.”

“When this country starts being truthful, regardless of who’s feelings get hurt, we will solve many problems.”

The shooter – 36-year-old Genesse Moreno – entered the Lakewood Church in Houston with her seven-year-old son and several weapons. Lakewood Chruch is the church of anti-LGBTQ+ televangelist Joel Osteen.

Moreno shot a 57-year-old man in the hip before being killed by two off-duty officers, and her son was critically injured in the shootout. The 57-year-old has been released from the hospital.

Police have not said what Moreno’s motive was, but she was not transgender. Fox News initially reported that she was and then quickly changed their article without issuing a retraction or a correction.

“She utilized both male and female names but, through all of our investigation to this point — talking with individuals, interviews, documents — Houston Police Department reports she has been identified this entire time as female: she/her,” a Houston police officer said.

Conservatives were quick to jump on the report in order to paint transgender people as violent and dangerous, despite the fact that mass shootings are overwhelmingly perpetrated by cisgender men. In fact, the Gun Violence Archive recorded 4,400 mass shootings in the U.S. from 2013 to 2023 and found that fewer than ten were perpetrated by a transgender person, or 0.11%, less than the estimated percentage of the population that is transgender.

“Fox News is SO desperate to paint trans people in a negative light that today they ran with rumors that a shooter was a transgender woman before quietly admitting three hours later that they made that part up,” Media Matters’s Ari Drennen posted to social media.

Greene’s post calling Moreno transgender is still online.

Greene wasn’t the only person on the right to try to use the shooting to attack transgender people, despite the fact that the vast majority of mass shootings are perpetrated by cisgender men. Anti-LGBTQ+ extremist Chaya Raichik, who goes by Libs of TikTok online, also called Moreno a “trans terrorist” and asked, “What kind of hormones and drugs was she on? … Leftists ‘affirm’ gender dysphoria rather than treat the root cause which is mental illness.”

Raichik then posted a list of mass shootings that were supposedly perpetrated by trans and nonbinary people, although she included the Club Q shooter, who started identifying as nonbinary after he had been arrested for killing five people in a mass shooting at the LGBTQ+ venue.

Greene also highlighted the fact that Moreno was born in El Salvador, likely because Greene is opposed to immigration into the U.S. Immigrants are less likely than people born in the U.S. to be incarcerated.

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